Everything You Need to Know About Cork Flooring

Cork flooring is gaining popularity for its unique combination of style, sustainability, and practicality. Derived from the bark of the cork oak tree, this eco-friendly material offers a host of benefits, making it an excellent choice for a variety of spaces. This guide will explore everything you need to know about cork flooring, from its benefits and ethical considerations to the different styles available and tips for installation and care.

What is Cork?

Cork comes from the bark of the Quercus suber, commonly known as the cork oak tree. It is an impermeable material, making it well-suited to flooring. Most of the world’s cork is harvested from Portugal, which has ideal growing conditions for cork oak forests.

What are the Benefits of Cork Flooring?


Cork flooring offers a range of benefits that make it an attractive option for many homeowners. It has a unique, natural look that can add character to any room. Its naturally water-resistant properties make it suitable for areas like kitchens, bathrooms, and living spaces. Cork flooring provides a warm, soft surface underfoot, which is insulated for both warmth and noise dampening.

Is Cork Flooring an Ethical Option?

Yes, cork flooring is an ethical and sustainable choice. The cork bark can be harvested without cutting down the tree, as the bark grows back and can be harvested again. According to Euronews, for each kilogram of cork produced, 73 kilograms of CO2 is captured by the forests, making cork a significant carbon sink. Additionally, cork flooring is made from 100% natural materials, unlike vinyl or hybrid options, further enhancing its eco-friendly credentials.

What Styles Does Cork Flooring Come In?

Cork flooring has evolved significantly since its popularity in the 1970s. Traditionally, raw cork tiles were lacquered to seal and provide a warm colour. Nowadays, cork tiles are available in a wide variety of colors and can be pre-finished for faster installation. Some cork tiles are designed to mimic the appearance of traditional tiles.

Click here to shop cork tiles on our website

For those who prefer the look of timber, hybrid cork planks are now available. These planks feature a core made entirely of cork with a timber veneer, offering the benefits of cork with the aesthetics of timber.

Click here to shop Hybrid Cork on our website

How is Cork Installed?

The installation of cork flooring begins with preparing the subfloor. The level of preparation varies depending on the state of the subfloor. A concrete slab may require feathering or a pour to level it completely, while a timber subfloor might need masonite to create an even surface for the cork to adhere to. After preparing the subfloor, a sealant is applied to protect against moisture.

Once the subfloor is ready, a layer of cork glue is applied and allowed to dry. The cork is then installed in the chosen pattern. For raw cork, the surface is ground down to ensure smoothness and evenness. This step is unnecessary for pre-finished cork. Finally, three layers of lacquer are applied, with at least 12 hours of drying time between coats.

How to Care for Cork Flooring

To maintain the beauty and longevity of cork flooring, follow these care tips:

  • Vacuum or sweep regularly to remove dirt and debris.
  • Mop with a damp mop, avoiding the use of chemicals.
  • Use high-density felt floor protectors under furniture.
  • Avoid excessive direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.

By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your cork flooring remains beautiful and functional for years to come.

Want cork flooring in your home?

Contact us at 1300 711 351, fill out a contact request form, or visit our showroom at 5 Gregory Street, Queanbeyan, to discuss installing cork flooring in your home.

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